A loose adaptation of the Hyakunin Isshu. When they say “loose” they really mean it here. We have poets from a thousand years ago racing each other and chatting in outer space.
Utakoi tells the stories of some of the Hyakunin Isshu’s love poem’s authors. I love historical shows like this. Utakoi didn’t feel bound to stick too closely to history (many of the stories communicate very modern sentiments) but it did reach me more about this era of Japanese history than I knew before.
The parts set in the modern world are bizarre, to say the least. I’m not sure they were necessary. They didn’t seem to add much for me. But the love stories set in the past are excellent.
It must have been an interesting time period to live in, at least for rich people. They just lounge around in the palace all day, writing poems and flirting. At least that’s what I gathered from Utakoi.
Many of the love stories were quite touching. I especially liked the fact that they didn’t all have happy endings where the couple gets together. There were a few relationships that failed, even, and had one or both of the characters get into a different relationship later on. If you have any interest in history, poetry or romance I recommend giving Utakoi a whirl.
- Storytelling – B – Nice short little love stories.
- Voice – A - Quite the bizarre mix of historical period romances and poets transported into the future.
- Characters – B - Great characters, but we go through them pretty quickly. I watched it in spurts and forgot who the characters were in between.
- Attention Grab – B – I somehow lost interest in the middle, but then watched the last six episodes in one sitting. I recommend marathoning it.
- Production – B - Looks great, pretty unique style.
- Overall – B
Recommendations – Aoi Bungaku, Chihayafuru